Busiest airports for Thanksgiving 2017 - Hopper Research

Busiest airports for Thanksgiving 2017

Brianna
By Brianna Schneider
Posted Nov 16, 2017


Figure 1: Busiest travel days during Thanksgiving week, based on scheduled passenger departures from all US airports. The Sunday after Thanksgiving is busiest, followed by the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

Rank

Airport

City

Outbound passengers

Busiest time of day (local time)

1

ATL

Atlanta

1,361,871

9:00am

2

LAX

Los Angeles

1,157,093

9:00am

3

ORD

Chicago

1,024,822

7:50am

4

DFW

Dallas

871,954

5:30pm

5

JFK

New York City

831,027

6:00pm

6

DEN

Denver

786,110

10:10am

7

SFO

San Francisco

783,175

7:50am

8

CLT

Charlotte

645,381

8:30am

9

LAS

Las Vegas

636,023

10:50am

10

MIA

Miami

617,261

3:30pm

11

SEA

Seattle

612,919

10:50am

12

MCO

Orlando

608,049

6:00pm

13

PHX

Phoenix

606,832

10:10am

14

EWR

Newark

600,881

4:10pm

15

IAH

Houston

562,304

8:40am

16

BOS

Boston

528,232

6:00am

17

FLL

Fort Lauderdale

494,210

8:40am

18

MSP

Minneapolis

475,641

7:10pm

19

DTW

Detroit

465,185

7:10pm

20

LGA

New York City

415,302

8:10am

21

BWI

Baltimore

406,517

7:10am

22

PHL

Philadelphia

392,038

5:00pm

23

MDW

Chicago

325,661

7:20am

24

SAN

San Diego

322,758

5:40am

25

DCA

Washington D.C.

320,945

4:10pm

Table 1: The busiest airports for Thanksgiving week, based on the volume of scheduled departures.

Atlanta beats out several larger metro areas due to the large number of connecting passengers. The busiest time of day is when we expect the longest lines at check-in and security. See also Figure 1 below.

The blue lines in the graphs below show the expected number of passengers navigating the 25 busiest airports at different times of day, assuming that passengers arrive an average of an hour before a domestic flight, and two hours before an international flight. The red line flags the busiest time of day. Some airports have a relatively flat distribution. For example, Laguardia (LGA; fourth row, far right) is always relatively busy, with morning a little busier than usual. Other airports have strong daily cycles. For example, Philly (PHL; bottom center) is more than twice as busy as usual around 5pm.


Figure 2: When to expect the busiest lines.